The Info List - Canarian Spanish

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Canarian Spanish
Canarian Spanish
(Spanish: español de las Canarias, español canario, habla canaria, isleño, dialecto canario or vernacular canario) is a variant of standard Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
by the Canarian people. The variant is similar to the Andalusian Spanish variety spoken in Western Andalusia
and (especially) to Caribbean Spanish and other Hispanic American Spanish vernaculars because of Canarian emigration to the Caribbean and Hispanic America
Hispanic America
over the years.[citation needed] Canarian Spanish, therefore, heavily influenced the development of Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
and other Latin American Spanish vernaculars. Hispanic America
Hispanic America
and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands were originally largely settled by colonists from the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
and Andalusia
so the dialects of the region, including the standard language, were already quite close to Canarian and Andalusian speech. In the Caribbean, Canarian speech patterns were never regarded as either foreign or very different from the local accent.[1] The incorporation of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
into the Crown of Castile began with Henry III (1402) and was completed under the Catholic Monarchs. The expeditions for their conquest started off mainly from ports of Andalusia, which is why the Andalusians predominated in the Canaries. There was also an important colonising contingent from Portugal
in the early conquest of the Canaries, along with the Andalusians and the Castilians from mainland Spain. In earlier times, Portuguese settled alongside the Spanish in the north of Gran Canaria, but they died off or were absorbed by the Spanish. The population that inhabited the islands before the conquest, the Guanches,[2] spoke a variety of Berber (also called Amazigh) dialects. After the conquest, the indigenous Guanche language was rapidly and almost completely eradicated in the archipelago. Only some names of plants and animals, terms related to cattle ranching and numerous island placenames survive.[3] Their geographic situation made the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
receive much outside influence, causing drastic cultural changes, including linguistic ones. As a result of heavy Canarian emigration to the Caribbean, particularly during colonial times, Caribbean Spanish
Caribbean Spanish
is strikingly similar to Canarian Spanish.


1 Grammar 2 Pronunciation 3 Vocabulary 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography


As is the case with most varieties of Spanish outside Mainland Spain, the preterite is generally used instead of the perfect. For example, hoy visité a Juan ('today I visited John') instead of hoy he visitado a Juan ('today I have visited John').[4][5] As is the case with most varieties of Spanish outside of central and northern Spain, Canarians use ustedes for all second person plurals. Thus, instead of saying vosotros estáis, they say ustedes están. Only in few areas of the islands of El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera the pronoun vosotros is decreasingly used, generally only by some older speakers. In La Gomera and some parts of La Palma, ustedes vos vais is used. Archaic forms like vaivos are still used in some parts.[citation needed] As is the case with most varieties of Spanish outside of mainland Spain, in some diminutives, syllables are suppressed. Example: cochito instead of cochecito for small car, or florita instead of florecita.[citation needed] Disappearance of de ("of"), in certain expressions, as is the case with many varieties of Spanish outside mainland Spain: casa Marta instead of casa de Marta, gofio millo instead of gofio de millo, etc.[citation needed]


The most distinctive non-mainland (and Andalusian) Spanish characteristic is seseo; the lack of distinction between the pronunciation of the letters < s > and <z> or "soft" <c>, so that caza ('hunt') is pronounced exactly like casa ('house').[6] The feature is common to most parts of the Spanish-speaking world outside of the northern three quarters of Spain (Castile and the surrounding provinces that have adopted a similar way of speaking).[7][8] /s/ debuccalization. The phoneme /s/ is debuccalized to [h] in coda position, as is common in Andalusia, Extremadura, and Murcia, as well as many parts of Spanish America.[9] /x/ (spelled as <j>, or as <g> before <e> or < i >) is usually aspirated (pronounced [h]), as is common in Andalusia (especially the western part), as well as in many parts of Hispanic America. Word-final /n/ is realized as velar [ŋ].

Vocabulary[edit] The Canarian vocabulary has a notable influence from the Guanche language, especially in the toponymy. In addition, many Canarian names come from the Guanche language, such as Airam, Gara, Acerina, Beneharo, Jonay, Tanausú, Chaxiraxi, Ayoze and Yaiza. See also[edit]

Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain


^ "Faculte des arts Faculty of Arts" (PDF). Uottawa.ca. Retrieved 2015-04-30.  ^ The term Guanche originally referred to the aborigines of Tenerife, but nowadays it is used commonly to refer also to the aborigines of the rest of the islands. ^ "The Canarian Spanish
Canarian Spanish
Dialect". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2016-01-09.  ^ "On the biological basis of gender variation: Verbal ambiguity in Canarian Spanish
Canarian Spanish
Almeida Sociolinguistic Studies". Equinoxjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-04-30.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ "What did sociolinguistics ever do for language history?: The cont..." ingentaconnect. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2015-04-30.  ^ "Biblioteca Virtual Universal" (PDF). Biblioteca.org.ar. Retrieved 2015-04-30.  ^ "Episcopal Conferences: Historical, Canonical, and Theological Studies - Thomas J. Reese - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-04-30.  ^ [2][dead link]


Navarro Carrasco, Ana Isabel (2003), El atlas de Canarias y el diccionario académico, Publicaciones Universidad de Alicante, ISBN 978-8479082864 

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Languages of Spain

Official / national

Spanish (aka Castilian)

Regional / minority languages


Basque Catalan / Valencian Galician Occitan



Aragonese Asturian / Leonese

Unrecognised languages

Gomeran whistled language Hispano-Arabic Hispano-Berber Ibero-Romani

Caló Erromintxela

Judaeo-Spanish Varieties of the Spanish languages

Cultural languages

Classical Greek
Classical Greek
& Latin English French German

Immigrant / expatriate languages

Arabic Bulgarian Chinese English Italian French German Portuguese Romanian Russian Ukrainian, etc.

Standard forms

Castilian Spanish Asturian Basque Catalan / Valencian Galician

Sign languages

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Sign Language

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Varieties of Spanish by continent


Canarian Equatoguinean

Americas (Pan-American)


Cuban Dominican Puerto Rican

Central America

Belizean Costa Rican Guatemalan Honduran Nicaraguan Pachuco Panamanian Salvadoran

North America


Caló (Chicano) New Mexican Puerto Rican Isleño


South America

Amazonic Andean Bolivian Chilean Chilote

Chiloé Archipelago

Colombian Cordobés

Central Argentina


Central western Argentina


Coastal Ecuador


Los Llanos Colombia/Venezuela


Zulia State


Paisa Region

Paraguayan Peruvian Ribereño

Coastal Peru


Coastal Argentina Uruguayan




Europe (Peninsular)

Andalusian Canarian Castilian Castrapo (Galicia) Castúo (Extremadura) Murcian spoken by Catalan speakers


Standard Caló (Para-Romani) Judaeo-Spanish Palenquero
(creole) Chavacano
(creole) Llanito Papiamento
(Portuguese-based creole with Spanish influence)


Mediaeval Cocoliche
and Lunfardo

Coastal Argentina, Uruguay


Central America


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Cultural domain of Canary Islands


Guanches Pre-colonial times Conquest Treaty of Alcáçovas First Battle of Acentejo Kingdom of the Canary Islands Battle of Aguere Second Battle of Acentejo Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1657) Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1797) Spanish transition Autonomous community Canarian Parliament


Guanche† Canarian (Spanish) Gomeran Whistle


Gara and Jonay Achamán Achuguayo Achuhucanac Chaxiraxi Chijoraji Guayota Magec Maxios Tibicena


Bola canaria Canarian wrestling Juego del Palo Salto del pastor Open Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Island Open Lanzarote Island Open Costa Adeje


Almogrote Canarian arepa Canarian wrinkly potatoes Gofio Malvasia Majorero Miel de palma Mojo Pasteles Ropa vieja Sancocho Sangria Tropical beer Wines

Musical instruments

Chácaras Timple


Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival of Las Palmas Bajada (festival) Cavalcade of Magi Holy Week Virgin of Candelaria Cristo de La Laguna Akelarre

Symbols places of the Canary Islands

Teide Auditorio de Tenerife Garajonay Caldera de Taburiente


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Spanish diaspora

By country


Equatorial Guinea




France Germany Sweden United Kingdom


North America

Belize Canada Costa Rica Cuba Guatemala Honduras Jamaica Mexico Trinidad and Tobago United States

Asturian Basque Canarian (in Louisiana) Catalan Galician Hispano Puerto Rico


Australia New Zealand

South America

Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Peru Uruguay Venezuela

See also

Conquest of the Cana